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How to buy Cardano (ADA) – 2021 Guide

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What is Cardano?

Cardano (ADA) is one of the best-known cryptocurrency and smart contract platforms, which was developed as a direct competitor of leaders in the industry like ETH. The crypto has already reached above a $50 billion market cap, with a trading volume around $5-$10 billion over 24 hours. As of now, Cardano ranks in 4th place by total market capitalization.

Cardano was developed by Inputs, Outputs, Hong Kong (IOHK) and launched initially in 2017. The blockchain was originally created by ETH co-founder Charles Hoskinson. Unlike BTC mining, Cardano is staked. The more you stake, the more money you are going to make from your ADA tokens.

The basic structure of the Cardano blockchain is divided among two layers – one of which carries out payment settling, and another, that operates smart contracts. In this regard, the coin operates in a very similar way to BTC. By far, the most recognizable official application of Cardano was delivered by Greek universities looking to use the blockchain to store graduate data and diplomas.

Therefore, in this guide, let`s take a look at how to best buy Cardano in 2021.

How to Buy Cardano (ADA) – Brief Steps

  1. Get an ADA wallet.
  2. Note your Cardano wallet address.
  3. Find an exchange, which offers ADA trading.
  4. Buy ADA.
  5. Send your Cardano tokens to your wallet address for storage.

Step by step guide to buy Cardano

Below you can find a detailed step-by-step walkthrough of the process of how to store and buy Cardano.

Step 1 – Choose a cryptocurrency wallet.

To buy ADA coin, you first have to have a place to store them. In this section, we will take a look at two different wallet options for storing your Cardano.

Cardano Software Wallets


How to buy Cardano (ADA) - 2021 Guide 2

Atomic is a software-based cryptocurrency wallet, which is often advertised for its support for the ADA token. Other than Cardano, you can store more than 300 other cryptocurrencies in Atomic. In order to use the wallet, you have to visit the Atomic website or download the app straight from your mobile application store. We are going to be using the mobile version for this tutorial.

Probably the most significant advantage of the Atomic wallet is that it allows you to swap between currency balances in-app, or in other words, without the necessity to go through an exchange.

Pros: Easy to set up and use from your computer or mobile.

Cons: It does not have the added layer of security of hardware wallets.


How to buy Cardano (ADA) - 2021 Guide 3

Daedalus wallet is another great option to send, receive, and exchange cryptocurrencies, including Cardano coin. It offers live charts and portfolio tracking while ensuring maximum security standards.

Additionally, Daedalus offers a live newsfeed to keep you up-to-date with the developments in the market.

Pros: Supports all desktop and mobile operating systems.

Cons: It is an open-source project, meaning that you are responsible for keeping your private keys.

Other Cardano (ADA) wallet options

If the previously mentioned options are not suitable for you, you can also try Exodus wallet, which is another multi-crypto wallet. A great wallet purposely built for the Cardano cryptocurrency as the native token is the Yoroi wallet.

Cardano Hardware Wallets


Trezor is one of the oldest and best-known hardware crypto wallet providers. It allows you to keep your digital currency off the grid, with no possibility of transferring your crypto asset without the device. Storing your cryptocurrency on a hardware solution means that your crypto cannot be accessed from the internet. Only by having the device with you your tokens can be moved to another wallet or an exchange account.

Pros: One of the most secure ways to keep any crypto asset.

Cons: Your funds are not recoverable in the case your Trezor device is lost.


How to buy Cardano (ADA) - 2021 Guide 4

Ledger is a hardware wallet, which looks very much like a USB flash drive. However, it performs complex functions and stores all your cryptocurrency assets. Getting yourself a Ledger is very easy. There are currently three types of Ledger devices.

In order to start using the Ledger wallet, you have to download the desktop or mobile version of Ledger Live. It is the software, which facilitates the use of your Ledger wallet.

Pros: Extremely secure, as it has virtually no touch with online environments.

Cons: There is a physical device you have to carry around.

Step 2 – Chose a cryptocurrency exchange

In order to buy Cardano with fiat money (either a credit card, debit card, or bank transfer), you have to use the services of a cryptocurrency exchange. Below we will provide you with a detailed guide on how to sign up and purchase ADA on several trusted cryptocurrency exchanges. Keep in mind, these are only some of the most popular options, and there are hundreds of other crypto exchanges that offer to buy Cardano.


eToro is a popular trading platform. Over the past years, it has started offering cryptocurrency trading with an easy-to-open and regulated exchange account. Conventional financial assets such as Forex, Stocks, CFDs, and Indices are also available. Overall a great option for beginners who want to buy Cardano only as an investment.

Pros: Easy to use interface for a beginner crypto trader.

Cons: You can only trade the crypto market without actually owning the token in your wallet.

CEX is one of the largest exchanges that offer margin trading, staking, and purchasing crypto with a debit card. Relatively high daily deposit and withdrawal limits are also among main benefits. Their stake pool offers are among the best in the industry.

Pros: Strong security and 42/7 support, several deposit options.

Cons: High trading taker fee when compared to other exchanges.


Coinbase is one of the leading crypto exchange options in the world and one of the most trusted ones as it developed and gained in popularity together with the overall rise of the blockchain technology ecosystem. They support deposits and withdrawals with several fiat currency options, and the signup process is fast, easy, and secure. Their trading fees are among the best in the market.

For more advanced traders and investors, Coinabse offers the Coinbase Pro platform, which allows Cardano trading with reduced trading fee and real-time market data.

Pros: Coinbase is well-established and secure. It also comes with an integrated wallet.

Cons: The verification process takes a bit longer than other exchanges – approximately two hours.


Bitpanda is another trusted exchange, targeting customers trading in the euro area. Some of its biggest advantages include the easy verification process, and the ability to buy Cardano directly from the exchange.

Pros: Easy to use, automated platform, full wallet integration.

Cons: Available only to customers in the euro area.

Step 3 – Move your Cardano from the exchange to your wallet

Once you buy Cardano on a crypto exchange, it is time to move it to your personal wallet. As mentioned, there are two main types available – the software wallet and the hardware wallet.

The first step to move your ADA across the Cardano network is to find your wallet deposit address. From there, go to your exchanges withdrawal page and copy the blockchain network address with any other necessary information.

Usually, a confirmation or two-step authentication is required on the exchange side to ensure you are performing the transaction and sending the coins to the right place.

Once it is done, your crypto should arrive at its destination in a couple of minutes. From there, make sure to keep your private keys and passwords in a safe place. Once ready to sell your crypto holdings, transfer them back to exchange.

Cardano blockchain to store graduate data and diplomas

One of the first use cases for the Cardano smart contract platform is the store of proof for university diplomas in Greece. It is done by using the GRNET application, developed together with the Cardano team – IOHK

By storing documents such as university diploma information on the blockchain, records of them are kept permanently on the blockchain platform. Therefore, the potential for fraud is eliminated.

Recent developments

In the middle of May, the Cardano price passed the $2 mark for the first time, resulting in a sharp increase in the total market cap, trading volume, and overall ADA popularity. In a recent Tweet by the Cardano community, more than 1 million ADA wallets have been created since its inception, indicating the rapid growth of the ADA user base.

How to buy Cardano (ADA) - 2021 Guide 5

Source: Trading View

As we can see on the chart, currently, the market has retraced some of the gain and trades around the $1.5 mark. However, as mentioned in our long-term Cardano price prediction, ADA/USD is expected to rise in price over the next month, with the most optimistic scenarios indicating a price of $4-5. Therefore, if you buy Cardano around the current price levels, you still have a bargain.

Additionally, in a recent article by IOHK, Cardano developers showcased the stake pool development, which eventually will be maintained solely by community-run nodes. This promises even further decentralization for the crypto.

Another great development for the Cardano ecosystem is the development of Plutus smart contracts. Their Plutus pioneer program aims to recruit and train developers to increase the number of decentralized applications built on the platform.

Final Words

Hopefully, you will find this guide useful if you are just starting out and exploring the option of buying Cardano for the first time. Some tips to remember when to buy ADA is the current market price as sharp fluctuations are present over the past months. Therefore, it might be best to wait for another price retracement. Keep in mind that there are numerous alternatives to the wallets and exchanges we mentioned above, but these are our trusted and tested choices when choosing to buy Cardano.

There’s a belief that Cardano (ADA) could reach $40 in 2022. Price analysis is getting hot and one analyst thinks there going to be a massive surge in the value of the crypto. What’s the possibility? ADA was up 20.2% as of Monday morning as we’re writing this.

Overall, Cardano is still among the market leaders with a strong developer and supporter community. Therefore, we expect ADA only to continue increasing in price over the following years, making it an exciting investment opportunity. 

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All content in this article is for informational purposes only and in no way serves as investment advice. Investing in cryptocurrencies, commodities and stocks is very risky and can lead to capital losses.

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